Chengannur Mahadeva Temple in Kerala India

Chengannur Mahadeva Temple or Chengannur Temple is one of the oldest temples in Kerala, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Chengannur Mahadeva and Bhagawathy Temple is situated at Chengannur, around 117 km from Trivandrum city, in Alappuzha district of Kerala. The temple is also referred as Chengannur Bhagavati Temple, as the temple is one of the 108 Shakti Peethas dedicated to Goddess Parvathi. The unique feature of Chengannur Temple of Shiva is the festival called Thriputharattu which is marked as a symbol of fertility. Derived from the word Tiruchenkunroor, Chengannur is one of the five ancient shrines connected with the Mahabharata. Chengannur town, also spelled Chenganoor, Chenganur, and Chengannoor, is also known as the Gateway to Sabarimala Temple.

Temple Deities 

Lord Shiva faces east and the Goddess Parvati faces west direction. The main shrine is conical in shape and copper plated. An alloy of five metals called Panchaloham is used to design the idol of the goddess. The Shiva lingam is covered with a gold plate with an image of Ardhanareeswara (the Shiva - Shakti manifestation of Lord Shiva). Chenganoor Temple was known as Nayanar Thiruchenkuntoor Kovil in olden days.

Other shrines in the temple complex are dedicated to Lord Ganapathi, Dharma Shasta (Lord Ayyappan), Chandikeswaran, Neelagrivan, Ganga, and Nagar. A shrine for Sreekrishna is also located nearby. 

Temple Architecture

Chengannur Mahadeva Temple complex sprawls over an area of six acres, with a circular sanctum. The temple was built according to the architectural design developed by Perumthachan (the celebrated authority on architecture and carpentry). Added attraction is the delicate woodwork found in the Mukha Mandapam (main hall) in front of the temple and also in other Mandapams.

Legend / Story of Chengannur Mahadeva Temple

Subsequent to Daksha’s sacrifice, Lord Vishnu severed the body of Sati (Goddess Parvati) into pieces which scattered over different places. These places are called Shakti Peethas. Accordingly, it is believed that the reproductive organ of Goddess Sati’s body fell at the place where the temple is located. The Kamakhya Temple in Assam is also related with the same legend.

According to another legend, Goddess Bhagavati is said to be the Kannagi - a legendary Tamil woman of Silappadikaram (one of the five epics of ancient Tamil Literature). It is said that Chenkunnu was the spot in Chera Nadu (ancient Tamil dynasty) where she observed penances under a tree, after burning up the city of Madurai. The king of Chera dynasty, Senkuttuvan, brought a piece of stone from the Himalayas, carved her image and consecrated it as Chenkamalavalli. This legend is the same as the Kodungallur Bhagavati Temple.

Chengannur Temple Festivals

Thriputharattu Festival

One of the interesting festivals of the temple, Thriputharattu is celebrated only here. The festival is associated with the menstruation ceremony and is observed periodically in the temple. Once the sign is observed on the vesture (Udayada) of Goddess Parvathi, it is removed by the Main Priest (Melsanthi) every morning. He examines the vesture and if he feels any signs of Thriputhu (Period), he hands over the vesture to Devasom Officials, then verified by the abbess (senior women) of the (Madom – meaning monastery). Once the abbess confirms it, Devi's shrine will be closed for three days and worships will be offered to another image of the goddess in a different spot of the temple. The idol of Devi is taken to the nearby river on the fourth day and Arattu (holy bath) is conducted. This ceremony is called Thriputharattu. Afterwards, the goddess is taken back to the temple on an elephant. The idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi are taken in procession around the temple three times and then the Lord enters the shrine through eastern side and the goddess enters through western side.

Main Festival – Varshikotsavam

This is a 28 day long festival at Chengannur Temple which begins on the asterism Thiruvathira of Dhanu masam (mid December-mid January) and ends on Thiruvathira of Makaram masam (mid January-mid February). Special rituals are performed during these days.

Thulasamkrama Neyyattu - Ghee Abhishekam

This ceremony is conducted on every 1st day of Thulam (mid October–mid November). On the day 36 paras (a measurement in Malayalam) of ghee is showered on the ‘Shivalingam’.

Besides, Shivaratri Festival (February - March) and Chitra Pournami (April - May) are also celebrated here with much religious importance.

Temple Timings

Chengannur Temple opens daily at 03:50 AM. Worship timings are from 04:30 AM to 11:30 AM and from 05:00 PM to 08:00 PM. The temple timings are subjected to change during festival occasions.

How to reach Chengannur Mahadeva Temple

By Train

Chengannur Railway Station, on the Ernakulam – Kottayam - Kollam railway line, is the nearest railway station (1 km) to reach Chengannur. Some of the major trains passing through the station include Kerala Express, Hyderabad Express, Kanyakumari Express, Chennai Mail, Amritha Express, and Malabar Express.

By Bus

Chengannur is situated between Thiruvalla and Pandalam in Main Central Road (MC Road). Chengannur Bus Stand, a major KSTRC bus station in Alappuzha District, is just one kilometer from Chengannur Mahadeva Temple. Regular bus services are available from Aranmula, Thiruvalla (10 km), Pandalam, Pathanamthitta, and Trivandrum.

By Flight

Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery serves as the nearest airport to reach Chengannur.

Nearby Temples

Chengannur is considered as the main Edathavalam (resting place) for Sabarimala Pilgrimage.  Majority of the pilgrims who pass through Chengannur visit Chengannur Mahadeva Temple. Here are some of the temples situated near Chengannur Temple.

Kunnathumala Mahadeva Temple – Situated in the close proximity of the Mahadeva Temple, in north side.

Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple dedicated to Sree Krishna - About 8 km from Chengannur.

Puliyoor Sreekrishna Temple – Located on Chengannur - Mavelikkara road via Cheriyanad, the temple is 4 km from Chengannur Mahadeva Temple.

Thiruvanvandoor Sreekrishna Temple, (10 km), Chakkulathukavu Devi Temple (20 km), Thiruvalla Sreevallabhaswami Temple (12 km),

Chettikulangara Bhagavathi Temple, Sasthamkulangara (Chathankulangara) Temple, Thrichitat Sreekrishna Temple, and Pandalam Valiyakoyikkal Temple are located nearby.


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Chakkulathukavu Devi Temple



  1. I'll have to add this to the list of places I must see once I'm back :)

  2. The unique feature of Chengannur Temple of Shiva is the festival called Thriputharattu which is marked as a symbol of fertility. Derived from the word Tiruchenkunroor, Chengannur is one of the five ancient shrines connected with the Mahabharata.

  3. Please post details about Thiruvizha Mahadeva temple and the benefits of the medicine


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